Colder temperatures affect the cure time of the top layer of the floor. It can take up to 24 hours before foot traffic resumes and 24 to 96 hours before vehicles can use the garage again. If you want something that will last 10 years or more, you'll need a commercial-grade epoxy flooring system. They are available in kits from a variety of vendors.
This one from Epoxy-Coat and this one from Roll On Rock are some examples. Our sponsors also have other examples. A typical kit will include an epoxy primer and an epoxy colored coating with a high solid content (more than 90%). It is recommended to apply a high-performance transparent layer.
However, temperatures are an issue when it comes to epoxy. Rust-Oleum should not be applied if temperatures fall below 60 degrees. When it does, the curing process stops and it may not restart if it is heated above that amount. Some commercial-grade epoxy may have a 55-degree limit, but it's as low as possible.
If temperatures are going to be an issue for you, we suggest looking for a one-piece polyurea coating. They're actually easier to apply and can be applied at temperatures up to 40 degrees, depending on the manufacturer. In general, you should not apply epoxy floor coating if the humidity is higher than 85% or if the temperature does not exceed the dew point by at least 5 degrees. If you're not sure where you can get this type of coating, Boston Garage offers a polyuria floor covering.
You won't have to worry that the cold will hinder the process of applying the floor covering if you use a polyuria floor coating. For a solvent-based coating that can be applied to surfaces with temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit, try the UltraCrete solvent-based texture coating. If you want to protect your floor from scratches and other damage, you should apply an epoxy floor coating. If you have difficulty interpreting the epoxy floor coating product specifications, contact a Boston Garage professional for more information.
If you do epoxy coating work (especially floor coverings), avoid the combination of poor air circulation and the use of torpedo-type heaters (fueled with gas or diesel) in enclosed spaces. In addition, while some solvent coatings can be applied to surfaces below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, be careful during the colder season not to apply coatings to concrete that may contain ice, as it will eventually thaw and affect adhesion. If a coated concrete wall is expected to withstand an unusual amount of thermal movement, elastomeric coatings will help adapt to that movement and will continue to provide a uniform protective film. If you plan to apply an epoxy floor coating during the cold winter months, you'll need to consider the effects of low temperatures when storing materials, applying the coating and curing.
If you've reached a point where the weather is too cold and you still want to choose a floor covering for your garage, you may want to consider using a polyurea or polyaspartic coating. If applying a coating to the floor during cold weather is absolutely necessary, you may want to consider another type of floor covering instead of epoxy. The temperature of the epoxy product will affect the success of the process of applying an epoxy floor coating. Not everyone has problems with this type of coating materials within the first 4 to 5 years, however, depending on the quality of the material, experience and the numerous (and very common) complaints of hot tires lifting up and coatings worn out after a few years they say the opposite.
In many cases, polyuria floor covering provides even greater protection than epoxy floor coating, a product that professionals often praise for the superior protection it offers. .